• Kyodo


IBF minimumweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi will face the Philippines’ Vince Paras in his second title defense, his Watanabe gym said Monday.

Kyoguchi will take on Paras, ranked 15th in the heavier IBF light flyweight category, on May 20 at Tokyo’s Ota Gymnasium.

“We are both hopefuls without a single loss, but I am confident that I am stronger,” the 24-year-old Kyoguchi told a news conference at his gym in Tokyo. “As champion, I want to make it an overwhelming performance.”

Both unbeaten, Kyoguchi has nine wins, including seven by knockout, while challenger Paras has 11 knockouts in his 13 career wins.

Kyoguchi defeated Mexico’s Jose Argumedo last July to become the quickest Japanese fighter to win a first world title after turning professional, a record 1 year, 3 months after giving up his amateur status. He went on to defend his title in December, beating Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago by technical knockout.

Ryoichi Taguchi will put his IBF and WBA light flyweight titles on the line against South African Hekkie Budler on the same card.

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